When It’s Not What It Seems: The Murder at Lululemon

March 21st, 2011

On Thursday, I quickly put up a post about a community gathering in memory of Jayna Murray. A friend from Bethesda’s Mindfulness Center had asked me to put the post up, emailing me that“the women at the Mindfulness Center have been close to Jayna and all the workers at Lululemon.”

No longer. The murder victim’s co-worker, Brittany Norwood, was arrested on Friday and charged with the slaying. She’s due in Montgomery County court today.

Like so many in our community, I was horrified by this senseless tragedy and then incredibly shocked to learn that one of the “nice girls” from Lululemon may have committed this crime.   Perhaps it’s ghoulish, but I wondered what she looked like – I wondered if I had seen Brittany on Bethesda Row.   I searched for images of Brittany Norwood, and turned up two that seemed like fits, but as I tweeted Friday night, I was afraid to post the images in case I had identified the wrong person.

It turns out I hadn’t identified the wrong Brittany Norwood – biographical details since revealed by the news media, and her sad looking mug shot match the images I found of a pretty young woman partying in her FaceBook picture and a wholesome looking woman in her college soccer profile picture.

We tend not to think of women as murderers. It’s far easier to imagine brutal “masked men,” as Brittany had claimed, even when logically we know that the odds of “masked men” sneaking into a store on a well traveled street are extremely low.

I wasn’t originally going to post these photos of Brittany Norwood, but I wondered if they would stay up online. And sure enough, they’ve been removed from the websites where I found them. Facebook profile deleted. College soccer shot gone.

All the public is left with is an image of Brittany Norwood in a mug shot. An image that is what she became…but doesn’t reflect all that she was..and doesn’t remind us, like those other images do, that things are not always as they seem.

How sad.

Bethesda Community to Gather at Candlelight Vigil in Remembrance of Jayna Murray this Friday Evening

March 16th, 2011

Lulelemon Shrine Bethesda


Our community has been rocked by a random act of violence:  the senseless attack against two beautiful young women, yogis who radiated peace and happiness through their work at Lululemon Athletica.  I was asked to post the following to help get the word out about a community gathering this Friday evening in remembrance of Jayna Murray.

Community Gathering in Remembrance of Jayna Murray
and in support of our friends at Lululemon and our Community.

Friday, March 18, 2011
8:00-9:30 pm

We will gather at The Mindfulness Center at 8:00 pm, with an open forum for remembrances and prayer, in celebration of the life of Jayna and in support of our friends at Lululemon, and the healing of our community.  This will be followed by a candlelight vigil to Lululemon for song and prayer. Dr. Deborah Norris will lead us in meditation, and Rev. John Love will lead us in prayer.  Counselors will be available at The Mindfulness Center throughout the week.

Deborah Norris, Ph.D.
Founder, The Mindfulness Center
4963 Elm Street, Suite 100
Bethesda, MD  20814

Director, Psychobiology of Healing Program
American University